"Now I am making known to you, brethren, the evangel which I bring to you, which also you accepted, in which also you stand, through which also you are saved, if you are retaining what I said in bringing the evangel to you, outside and except you believe feignedly. For I give over to you among the first what also I accepted, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was entombed, and that He has been roused the third day according to the scriptures.""For not ashamed am I of the evangel, for it is God's power for salvation to everyone who is believing -- to the Jew first, and to the Greek as well. For in it God's righteousness is being revealed, out of faith for faith, according as it is written: 'Now the just one by faith shall be living.'""In Whom you also -- on hearing the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation -- in Whom on believing also, you are sealed with the holy spirit of promise (which is an earnest of the enjoyment of our allotment, to the deliverance of that which has been procured) for the laud of His glory!""The nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel of which I became the dispenser, in accord with the gratuity of the grace of God, which is granted to me in accord with His powerful operation."
First, it is termed "the gospel of God" (Rom. 1:1; 15:16), because it is "concerning His Son, . . .Jesus Christ, our Lord," and the "righteousness of God through Jesus Christ's faith, for all, and on all who are believing" (Rom. 1:3; 3:21-26; 4:6; 10:4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9).
It is called "the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:7; 2 Cor. 10:14), because it makes know His great sacrifice in "giving Himself for our sins, so that He might extricate us out of the present wicked eon, according to the will of our God and Father," thus revealing His great love for us, and because He is the sole Object of our faith (Gal. 1:3-4; 2:15-16, 20-21; Rom. 5:5-9).
It is also termed "the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:4), because it makes known to us how Christ, Who was preeminent in glory, "being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God, nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity, and, being found in fashion as a man, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11; Eph. 1:5-12, 17-23).
It is termed "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24; Titus 2:11-14), because it saves and justifies freely, or "without a cause," through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus, through faith in His blood, wholly and apart from law, covenants, commands, ordinances or works of righteousness which we do (Rom. 3:21-30; Gal. 2:15-16; 3:5-14; 5:1-6; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; 2 Tim. 1:8-12).
It is called "gospel of your salvation" (Eph. 1:13-14) because it is god's power for salvation (that is, the full and complete deliverance from the condemnation of sin, with justification, God's righteousness reckoned to the sinner, and the promise of eonian life), to every one who is believing (Rom. 1:16; Gal. 3:2, 11-14; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
THE CHOSEN VESSEL
"For I am making known to you, brethren, as to the evangel which is being brought by me, that it is not in accord with man. For neither did I accept it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:11-12).
"Now I am making know to you, brethren, the evangel which I bring to you, which you accepted also, in which you stand also, through which you are saved also, if you are retaining what I said in bringing the evangel to you, outside and except you believe feignedly."
- CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
according to the Scriptures,
- HE WAS ENTOMBED ("buried")
- HE HAS BEEN ROUSED
the third day according to the Scriptures.
I. CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
"For I give over to you among the first what I accepted also, that CHRIST DIED for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3). "For Christ, while we are still inform ('without strength'), still in accord with the era, for the sake of the irreverent, DIED. . . . yet God is commending this love of His to us, seeing that, while we are still sinners, Christ DIED for our sakes."These Scriptures make it unmistakably clear and plain for our understanding and faith that through Adam's disobedience and offense we were constituted ('made') sinners or "missers," and enemies under the condemnation of sin and estranged from God, with death as our end apart from anything we have done or may do. Therefore, for our salvation -- our deliverance from the condemnation of sin through God's free or gratuitous justification -- we must believe in our hearts the WELL-MESSAGE, "good news" or gospel, that Christ DIED for OUR SINS. Then, believing in our hearts that Christ DIED for OUR SINS, He DID, and our condemnation is gone, because He bore the curse for our sakes, and through faith in His blood, we become the righteousness of God in Him (Rom. 3:21-26), and "Nothing, consequently, is now condemnation to those in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
"For if, being enemies, we were conciliated to God through the DEATH of His Son, much rather, being conciliated, we shall be saved in His life" (Rom. 5:6, 8-10). "Consequently, then, as it was through one offense (Adam's) for all mankind for condemnation, thus also, it is through one just award (for Christ's obedience unto death) for all mankind for life's justifying. For even as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam), the many were constituted ('made') sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One (Christ), the many shall be constituted just" (Rom. 5:18-19)l.
"For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God's righteousness in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
" . . . the Lord Jesus Christ, Who gives Himself for our sins, so that He might extricate us out of the present wicked eon, according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal. 1:3-4).
Dear Reader, have you believed in your heart this glorious truth and promise of the gospel of your salvation? If not, won't you believe it now and trust in it with all your heart? for, through the obedience of faith -- believing in your heart God's promise in the "good news" or gospel -- you will receive the spirit of "adoption" or sonship, in which you will cry "Abba, Father!" Then with the love of God filling your heart, you will have the witness in your heart that you are a child of God. And, being His child, you are a heir and joint partaker of all His promises of righteousness, holiness, honor, glory and life in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Rom. 8:15-17; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Thes. 2:13-14).
II. HE WAS ENTOMBED
Dear Reader, have you believed in your heart these wonderful promises of God in the "good news" or gospel of your salvation, that in Christ's DEATH, the "curse" for your sins in relation to God, has been fully borne, and in His ENTOMBMENT, your "condemnation"has been put away never to be remembered anymore? If not, let me entreat you, in the love of God, our Savior, which He has so graciously and unmistakably manifested in the accursed death and burial of His beloved Son, for canceling and putting away our sins, that you respond to His love, believing and trusting these blessed promises of the gospel, now in your heart, and God will bless you with the blessing that fills.
III. HE HAS BEEN ROUSED
"Now it was not written because of him (Abraham) only, that it (righteousness) is reckoned to him, but because of us also, to whom it is about to be reckoned, who are believing on Him Who rouses Jesus our Lord from among the dead, Who was given up because of our offenses, and was roused because of our justifying."This is so clear and plain as to need no explanation. Just sincere, heart-faith to believe it. And what a wonderful Promise of "good news" to believe -- Christ was ROUSED or "raised" because of our justifying!
THE MEANING OF JUSTIFICATION
Justification is the gracious act of God reckoning the sinner to be just and righteous through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus, through faith in his blood, with the assurance of being maintained and vindicated against all that may attack or indict until the day of deliverance (Rom. 3:21-28; 4:3-12, 23-25; 5:1-2; 8:30-34; Gal. 2:15-16; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30).
This reveals that in the glorious "good news" or gospel of our salvation, namely, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, God has accomplished a complete and finished work of righteousness through Jesus Christ's faith (for He kept faith with God, even when He accursed Him for our sins), and it is for all and on all who are believing, for, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus, God can be just and a Justifier of the one who is of the faith of Jesus.
Dear Reader, have you believed in your heart this blessed promise of the gospel of your salvation? If not, believe it now, in your heart, and receive, by faith, the full blessing of God's promise in the "good news" or gospel of your salvation, as it is written,
"Being, then justified by faith, we may be having peace toward God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have the access also, by faith, into this grace in which we stand, and we may be glorying in expectation of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1-2).
THE DEMAND OF THE GOSPEL
THE MEANING OF SALVATION
GOD'S GIFT OF SALVATION
- In its dispensation, Christ Jesus, . . . became to us . . . from God, . . . righteousness, holiness and deliverance.
- In its transformation, God's saving power is received and experienced by the believer in the following order, namely, it is recokoned in spirit, imparted to the soul, and implanted in the body.
- In its realization, the blessing of salvation brings joy, peace and glory.
THE THREE TENSES OF SALVATION
- We were saved -- from the condemnation of sin -- on believing the gospel of our salvation;
- We are being saved -- from the power of Sin -- in our daily experiences, through our persistence in the faith, and not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which we hear;
- We shall be saved -- from the presence of Sin -- with the deliverance or glorification of our body.
THE BEGINNING OF OUR SALVATION
- We were saved -- from the condemnation of sin -- on believing the gospel of our salvation (Rom. 1:16-17; Gal. 3:11-14; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Thes. 2:13-14).
- In its dispensation, God's righteousness is reckoned to us in Christ Jesus, Who became to us . . . from God, . . . righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30).
- In its transformation, God's salvation began in spirit, in which we were "sanctified" or hallowed by the Spirit of God (2 Thes. 2:13-14), then justified in spirit on believing the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17; 5:1-2; 8:1-14; 1 Tim. 3:16), when God's righteousness was reckoned to us, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus, through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:24-25, 28; 4:3-12, 23-25; 8:1-17), and we received the spirit of "adoption" or sonship, in which we are crying "Abba, Father" (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 4:5-7; Eph. 1:5), and in one spirit we were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4), and were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise to the deliverance of that which has been procured (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30).
- In its realization, if fills our spirit with joy for the day of deliverance (Eph. 1:13-14).
- We are being saved -- from the power of Sin making its home in our bodies -- "since surely you are persisting in the faith, grounded and settled, and are not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear" (Col. 1:23; 1 Cor. 15:2; 2 Thes. 2:13-17).
- In its dispensation, God's holiness is imparted to our soul -- our feelings, emotions and dispositions -- for conforming us to the image of His Son, Christ Jesus, Who became to us . . .from God, . . . holiness (1 Cor. 1:30).
- In its transformation, God's Spirit, making its home in the believer, will be providing the invigorating power for "quickening" or vivifying our mortal bodies, thus enabling us to be "reckoning ourselves to be dead, indeed, to Sin, yet living to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Rom. 6:11-14). This is the process of our salvation, in which we are being saved from the power of Sin making its home in us. "For one who dies (to Sin) has been justified, (freed, liberated) from Sin" (Rom. 6:6-7). Consequently, then, "being freed from Sin, yet enslaved to God, we have our fruit for holiness" (Rom. 6:22). And the power of this teaching in our lives will be manifested in our soulish disposition being conformed to the disposition which was in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5-8). "For the disposition of the flesh (the soulish desires and practices of the body) is death, yet the disposition of the spirit is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6; 6:21). Therefore, conforming our disposition to that which was in Christ Jesus, we will be living and walking in accord with spirit and putting the practices of the body to death (Rom. 8:1, 4, 9-14). Pressing this truth still further concerning our behavior, Paul entreats us to be "stripping off the old humanity together with its practices, and putting on the young, which is being renewed into recognition, to accord with the Image of the One Who creates it" (Col. 3:9-10).
- In its realization we have the peace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:6-7).
- We shall be saved -- from the presense of Sin -- with the deliverance or glorification of our body (Rom. 8:23-24; Phil. 3:20).
- In its dispensation, our rescue or deliverance from this wretched body of death and the presense of Sin will be effected through Christ Jesus, Who became to us . . . from God, . . . deliverance (1 Cor. 1:30).
- In its transformation, the consummation of our salvation will be realized when Christ's image is implanted in our bodies, when they are transfigured to conform to His body of glory, by the powerful operation of God in resurrection and vivification, changing them from corruptible to incorruptible, from mortal to immortal, from soulish to spiritual, from soilish to celestial bodies (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-55), thus giving us our "house not made with hands" which we shall enjoy, eonian in the heavens (2 Cor. 5:1-10).
- In its realization, we will be snatched away to our realm which is inherent in the heavens, there to be with and like and for Christ, our Lord, in all His ineffable bliss and glory (1 Thes. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13-14).
THE PROCESS OF OUR SALVATION
In the second phase of the transforming experiences in the process of our salvation, it is supremely important to know and hold clearly in mind, that each new revelation of truth realized in our spirit and perceived by the eyes of our heart, will be tried for producing endurance, testedness and expectation, as the following Scriptures make know and confirm for our understanding and faith.
"Wherefore also, lest I should be lifted up by the transcendence of the revelations, there was given to me a splinter in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, that he may be buffeting me, lest I may be lifted up. For this I entreat the Lord thrice, hat it should withdraw from me. And He has protested to me, 'Sufficient for you is My grace, for My power in infirmity is being perfected.' With greatest relish, then, will I rather be glorying in my infirmities, that the power of Christ should be tabernacling over me. Wherefore I delight in infirmities, in outrages, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake, for, whenever, I may be weak, then I am powerful" (2 Cor. 12:7-10). "No trial has taken you except what is human. Now faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried above what you are able, but, together with the trial will be making the sequel also, to enable you to undergo it" (1 Cor. 10:13).Therefore, realizing that our daily experiences, in the process of our salvation, are for conforming and hallowing our soulish disposition to that which was in Christ Jesus, and for trying, testing and proving our faith and faithfulness in our devotion to God, how prayerfully, reverently and devoutly we should meet every experience, enduring it with all patience and joy, without murmuring and complaining, lest we fail and lose the weight of glory which it was graciously granted from God to produce in us and for us. What a source of strength and grace and encouragement all this should be to our hearts, to know and realize, that when our heavenly Father, in His love, designs to graciously grant us increasing reserves of glory in the real life of the on-coming eons, He curtails some of our soulish delights and joys in this life, by sending the momentary light afflictions! Some one, recognizing the meaning of God's gracious providence in sufferings and trials, has wonderfully expressed encouragement and expectation for our hearts in the following verses:
"Yet not only so, but we may be glorying also in afflictions, having perceived that affliction is producing endurance, yet endurance testedness, yet testedness expectation" (Rom. 5:3-4).
"For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us" (2 Cor. 4:17).
". . . and this from God, for to you it is graciously granted, for Christ's sake, not only to be believing on Him, but to be suffering for His sake also" (Phil. 1:29).
|"There is a day of sunny rest
For every dark and troubled night,
And grief may bide an evening guest,
But joy shall come with morning light." "For God hath marked each sorrowing day,
And numbered every sacred tear,
And heaven's long eons of bliss shall pay
For all His children suffer here."